Sleep’s Best Friend: Magnesium

Magnesium, an essential cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body, plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. However, despite its importance, many individuals fail to meet their daily dietary intake of magnesium. In fact, upwards of 60% of Americans fall short of their recommended magnesium intake. In this article, we will explore four of the major benefits of magnesium when it comes to your sleep, from stress reduction to relaxation and more!

A person struggling to fall asleep rubs their tired eyes

Decrease Stress and Anxiety

One of the key benefits of magnesium in relation to sleep is its ability to decrease stress and anxiety. Magnesium helps promote relaxation and calm the mind, making it easier for individuals to unwind and prepare for restful sleep. There’s a fascinating cycle at play here where stress actually depletes magnesium levels in the body, and conversely, low magnesium levels can leave you more susceptible to stress. Increased stress not only reduces magnesium levels but also leads to greater urinary excretion of magnesium.

Low magnesium levels have been correlated with insomnia, anxiety, and depression, making it an essential mineral for emotional well-being. Studies have shown that magnesium can significantly reduce Depression Anxiety Stress Scores by up to 45%, highlighting its potential as a natural remedy for stress-related sleep issues. Additionally, magnesium supplementation has been found to improve heart rate variability (HRV), an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress, further underscoring its role in promoting relaxation and better sleep quality.

Muscle Relaxation

Magnesium also functions as a muscle relaxant, which can have a direct impact on sleep quality. Individuals who struggle with muscle soreness and inflammation may find relief by increasing their magnesium intake. This mineral has demonstrated positive effects on perceived recovery time following exercise, making it easier for individuals to relax and unwind after vigorous physical activity. By reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation, magnesium helps prepare the body for a restful night’s sleep.

Improve Glucose Regulation

Another way in which magnesium can benefit sleep is by improving glucose regulation. Fluctuating blood glucose levels can disrupt sleep, causing nocturnal awakenings and disturbances. When blood glucose levels drop too low at night, it can lead to a condition known as nocturnal hypoglycemia, which can be a significant disruptor of sleep. Magnesium helps prevent these peaks and valleys in blood glucose levels, promoting more stable and uninterrupted sleep patterns. Research has shown that optimizing magnesium levels can improve insulin resistance and glycemic control, making it a valuable ally in the quest for better sleep.


Magnesium’s role as a vasodilator is another critical factor in its ability to promote better sleep. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is closely linked to disrupted sleep and various sleep disorders, including restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and insomnia. Studies have demonstrated that magnesium can relax the smooth muscles in arterial walls, effectively reducing blood pressure. This not only helps prevent hypertension-related waking but also contributes to overall cardiovascular health. By acting as a vasodilator, magnesium supports better blood flow and relaxation, facilitating a more peaceful and undisturbed sleep experience.

A man sleeps with an open mouth

Magnesium is a multifaceted mineral that offers several key benefits for improving sleep quality. From reducing stress and anxiety to acting as a muscle relaxant, improving glucose regulation, and functioning as a vasodilator, magnesium plays a vital role in promoting restful and rejuvenating sleep. If you suspect you are deficient, consider increasing your magnesium intake through dietary sources such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish. Due to several other factors that impact magnesium intake and absorption such as alcohol consumption, cooking methods, aging, some medical conditions, and more, food sources alone may not provide enough. You can always talk to your doctor about supplementation if you struggle to meet the daily recommendation through your diet. Getting enough magnesium can enhance your sleep quality and overall well-being, leading to more energized and productive days ahead. Remember, a well-rested mind and body are essential for a healthier and happier life!